12 signs your partner wants to end the relationship

One of the most unnerving times in a relationship is when you start to feel unsure of whether your significant other has just been in an extremely grumpy mood lately, or if they’re actually trying to drop hints about ending this relationship.

The good news here is that at least nine times out of ten, this confusion is just you being insecure, or your partner’s actually going through a troubled week, or maybe even the two situations combined. But sometimes when you feel that things are really off between you two, there might be something more to it! And it probably is time for you to give this relationship some much-needed attention.

According to the relationship experts of the world, here are 12 signs that you should look out for to know when your partner has actually started thinking about ending things:

You no longer feel like a priority
Cindi Sansone-Braff, relationship coach, psychic medium, and author of ‘Why Good People Can’t Leave Bad Relationships says,” When a person stops having the time or desire to be with you, then you know that your relationship is on life support system, and that you might just have to be the one who has the guts to pull the plug,” We all know how awful it feels to have a person hanging around us, but always with the fear that they’ll leave, that they don’t have much time for us, or that they just need an out.

“If you keep hearing how he or she is too busy with work, family, friends and other obligations to spend time with you, that sucks, and if they’re adding, ‘we’ll get together soon,’ they’re just giving you lip service. Just tell this person that this isn’t what you signed on for,” she adds.

And always stay real about why you’re finally done with them. “Let them know that you’ll be moving on, and if you should still be available when their life lightens up, then you might give this thing another try,” she says.

But no matter what happens, don’t just keep sitting there. “Keep in mind, that when someone is really into you, they put you on the top of the list, and make time for you,” Sansone-Braff says. “Nothing stands in the way: They’d walk five miles through a snowstorm to see you, because that’s how much they miss you.” If you feel like your partner would never do that for you, it’s OK — just find someone who will!

You have started to feel like they’re a million miles away from you
Your other half might be sitting right next to you, but in your heart, it feels like you’re a million miles away. Dating expert Noah Van Hochman talks about this feeling in detail, “The most telling clue that the person your with is on the verge of ending your relationship is distance. Not proximity distance, but the emotional kind.”

According to him, this is how you can tell: “Phone calls get less frequent and shorter. The types of conversations you engage in are less meaningful and have the feel of an obligation to talk more than an authentic desire.

Plans to do things together become more like ‘maybes’ than those things you used to get excited about.” And before you even comprehend what’s going on, you realize you have no idea what’s happening in your partner’s life. “Distance breeds distance and eventually communication becomes non-existent,” says Hochman. Before you experience this final blow to your relationship, just end it while you can.

Your significant other has started to talk in weird clichés
According to relationship coach and therapist Anita Chlipala, a few good examples of weird clichés that are actually warning signs are: “Maybe we’re just not meant to be” or “Relationships shouldn’t be this much work” or “Maybe we’re too different”. If you’ve been unlucky enough to hear one of these statements from your partner lately, then they’re probably saying all of this just to how you’ll react. Because in their mind, they’ve already decided to leave.

“Ending a relationship doesn’t come easily and it’s normal to have doubts about making the right decision,” says Chlipala. “Dropping hints opens the door to see the partner’s reaction and lay the groundwork for a breakup.”

Just do your partner a favor and tell them you’re aware of what they’re trying to do. Because playing clueless and dumb isn’t going to help you. It will just make you feel even worse about yourself.

They’ll start to pull back slowly
So it’s not necessary that they’ll pull a full-on-ghost on you. But maybe just show the possibility of pulling one soon enough. According to telehealth counselor psychologist Nikki Martinez,” A clue that someone wants to end the relationship is something that I actually suggest my patients do if they want to end a toxic friendship or casual dating relationship.” Now this particular clue will obviously won’t be helpful if you’re in a long-term relationship. But if you’re part of something that has just been going on for a few months and this particular thing starts happening, stay aware of it.

“The idea comes from a psychological term called ‘successive approximations,” Martinez says. “By this, I have the person answer calls and texts less frequently, be less and less available, until things just naturally drizzle out.” This isn’t really a good way to leave, but this method is okay if your partner has difficulty in being open and direct. So if you feel like this has started to happen, just accept it. Martinez says: “If you suddenly realize that you are on the receiving end of this behavior, you might want to start to be honest with yourself that this relationship is on the way out.”

They never ask how your day was

And I mean NEVER! A healthy relationship always requires that both the partners help each other talk through the good days AND the bad. Rob Alex, creator of Sexy challenges and Mission Date Night says,” Lack of interest in what is going on with you is a big sign that someone is about to end a relationship. If, all of the sudden, the person you are in a relationship with stops caring about what’s going on at your work, or things that you enjoy doing, then a flag might be raised.” It’s always important to discuss your lives with each other. And if you feel like this has stopped happening, it might be a sign.

“Interest in each other is one thing that makes relationships special, and when a person stops taking interest in what you are doing and stops sharing what they are doing, the relationship could be headed south,” says Alex.

The feeling of dread has been a constant companion
This is definitely not a good sign for your relationship. According to Caitlin K. Roberts, founder of To Be a Slut and cofounder of I’d Tap That, if you dread spending time with your partner, that’s a gut feeling telling you that something’s definitely wrong. “You are constantly wondering if they are going to break up with you,” she says. Then just spare everyone the trouble and bring it up yourself.

You don’t go out on dates anymore
“Saturday night comes and goes with no contact,” New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini says. “Unless you’re living on the moon, Saturday night is date night.”

Okay, let’s be fair- Not everyone in the world heads out on Saturday nights. Different couples work with different routines. But if your relationship is still pretty new and you don’t go out together even once over the weekend, then things might not be going too well. Likewise, if you’re in a long-term relationship and you haven’t been going out since a long time, you should take some time to find out why that is so.

And when you do go out, it’s always a group plan
According to life coach, Kali Rogers,” If your partner is limiting the time you two spend together alone and only tries to schedule group outings, chances are they are trying to phase the relationship out. Lack of physical contact and sex is another big indicator.” Don’t sit around ignoring these signs. Discuss them with your partner before things start to get even worse.

They always avoid discussing any future plans

“If they stop making plans for the future, they might want out”, according to Stefanie Safran, Chicago’s “Introductionista” and founder of Stef and the City. When “they refuse to discuss if they’ll come to your cousin’s wedding or make plans more than a week or so in advance,” this one is a definite lack of interest and commitment. And things will only keep getting worse from here. Just save yourself from the impending heart-break and confront your partner about this.

They’re extremely argumentative
“One clue that they want to break up would be that they are less patient and more prone to argue,” relationship coach Chris Armstrong says. A couple that stays gentle and kind to one another, that tries to understand when one of them does something weird, can overlook the petty issues without difficulty. But when someone just wants out from the relationship, the opposite holds true.

“When Fred and Marie were doing great, a stressful situation or a minor annoyance would lead to them finding their patient side and saying and doing things that kept the relationship moving in a positive direction,” says Armstrong. “That is because Fred and Marie want to sustain the relationship. If Fred wanted to break up with Marie, he will be short with her, indifferent to resolution, and argumentative.”

They get defensive
“They’ve stopped communicating and get defensive when you point it out,” says Danielle Sepulveres, sex educator and author of Losing It: The Semi-Scandalous Story of an Ex-Virgin. The defensiveness here plays the central role — because a lot of people are less communicative sometimes due to a number of reasons. And if someone still wants to sustain the relationship, they’ll work on changing this behavior once it is pointed out to them.

“If someone truly didn’t realize that they’re behavior has changed, they would be willing to discuss your concerns without immediately refuting you,” Sepulveres says. “Abstaining from having a conversation or dismissing your feelings is not a good sign when you want to address a shift you’ve sensed in the relationship.”

They’re Ghosting
“One major red flag that a person wants to end a relationship is they begin to ghost you,” according to founder and CEO of matchmaking service Dating Boutique Amanda Rose. “Instead of facing reality or potential conflict head-on, they begin to cut the ties of communication. Communication becomes vague or even non-existent,” she says. “People who ghost like to avoid difficult conversations and will gradually disappear emotionally and physically.”

If you’re trying awfully hard to get a hold of your partner, and still failing at it, they are probably ghosting you. It’s a very rude thing to do, and it can feel extremely painful if you’ve been them for a while now. But it is a very sure and clear sign that your partner just wants to end this relationship.

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